Injured - The FindLaw Accident, Injury and Tort Law Blog

Slip and Fall and Premises Liability

Slip and Fall / Premises Liability: Under this theory, the owners and occupiers of land or property owe a legal responsibility for accidents and injuries that occur on their property. These laws are largely dependant on state law and vary from state-to-state. What's usually important in these cases is to look at the status of the injured. Where they a trespassor or were they invited to the property? The status of the injured person with regards to the property might play a role in determining duty, depending on the state. Courts might also look at the condition of the property. Finally, there may be special laws applying to landlords and lessors of property.


Recently in Slip and Fall / Premises Liability Category

Last week, an Alabama jury awarded $7.5 million to a man who fell while shopping for watermelons at a local Walmart. That may seem like a lot for a simple slip and fall, but security camera footage showed several shoppers suffering similar entanglements with a pallet hidden beneath the watermelon display, and Henry Walker went from playing basketball a few times a week with his friends to needing a walker just to get around after shattering his hip.

The case got us thinking about some of the biggest jury awards and settlements following slip and fall lawsuits, so here are the top five from our archives:

Who knew shopping was this dangerous? Henry Walker found out while reaching for a watermelon in an Alabama Walmart in 2015. Walker's foot got caught in a wooden pallet on the floor, causing him to fall and shatter his hip.

Walker sued Walmart, claiming the retailer should've known the pallet was likely to cause an injury and failed to "exercise reasonable care, to maintain and keep its premises in a reasonable safe condition, and to warn the public of unsafe and hazardous conditions." A jury agreed, and awarded Walker $7.5 million in damages.

Five-year-old Charles Miller was sitting in his father's lap on the Timber Mountain Log Ride at Knott's Berry Farm in California when the ride came to a screeching halt after the last drop. According to a lawsuit filed against the theme park by his father, Miller flew forward, forcing his head to be "sandwiched between his father and the back of the seat causing an orbital blowout." Miller suffered a fractured eye socket, and the lawsuit claims Knott's Farm negligently maintained the ride.

It turns out this is not the first problem with the log ride or the first lawsuit filed against the park: the family of a 6-year-old girl settled with Knott's Berry after she broke a bone above her right eye hitting her head on the ride, and the Miller suit cites ten other examples where guests were injured in similar incidents.

The residents of a condominium community in Columbus, Ohio have been warned not to use their balconies due to the fear of collapses. The condo owners at The Falls at Hayden Run were told in June 2017 that their decks could no longer be used after a father and daughter were injured in a collapse the previous month. Apparently, the decks were only secured by 26 nails and lacked several safety requirements.

While the community association is working to fix the problem, many owners and residents may be wondering what legal action they may be able to take. The father and daughter that were injured have filed a lawsuit due to their severe injuries, however, condo owners may also be able to pursue legal actions on their own behalf.

It seems like everyone has taken up rock climbing in the past few years, and gyms, recreational supply stores, and even college campuses nationwide are adding climbing walls to their facilities. While climbing wall injuries may be rare, they can have severe consequences.

So who's liable if you're injured on an indoor climbing wall? And can you sue?

In most cases, we might refer to a door hitting someone on the way out of a casino after losing money as adding insult to injury. But it was the other way around for 87-year-old Elaine Catuara, who was hit by a malfunctioning front door at Harrah's Casino Hotel in downtown Joliet, Illinois, "violently catapulting her to the floor."

Catuara suffered fractures to her hip and to two vertebrae in her lower back, and was hospitalized for almost three weeks. She filed a negligence lawsuit against the casino in late May, but passed away soon after. "We will be amending the lawsuit," Catuara's attorney asserted, "alleging a wrongful death count."

One New York City woman has filed a lawsuit against the Midtown Manhattan restaurant Johnny Utah's after being injured by the establishment's biggest feature: a mechanical bull.

The lawsuit alleges that Jocelyn Burmeister was visibly intoxicated when restaurant employees allowed her to ride the bull. In attempting to do so, Ms. Burmeister fell and tore her ACL. Her lawsuit seeks damages related to the medical care incurred and other damages she suffered.

The trial against the city of Chicago as a result of a serious injury accident at O'Hare Airport a few years ago is set to move forward soon, unless a settlement can be reached as to the monetary award. The city has assumed liability and admitted fault, leaving the court to determine the extent of the damages.

In 2015, Tierney Darden was standing in a shelter at O'Hare Airport in Chicago, when the 750 pound shelter collapsed on top of her. What's worse, the accident caused Ms. Darden's spinal cord to be severed, leaving her permanently paralyzed. Investigators discovered that the shelter Ms. Tierney was standing in had missing bolts and other obvious signs of inadequate maintenance.

A recent investigatory report in South Carolina uncovered a disturbing trend among many home daycare providers: an alarmingly high rate of providers aren’t in compliance with laws requiring health and safety training. Despite there being a law requiring home daycare providers to partake in annual training, the law lacked any enforcement or monitoring mechanism.

The lack of enforcement in South Carolina allowed countless home daycares in several different counties to continue to operate despite being out of compliance with the law requiring home daycare workers to fulfill annual training.

We ask nursing homes to care for our elderly loved ones specifically to keep them safe from injuries. Due to their age and the possibility of other ailments, nursing home injuries can severely impact an elderly person's health, wellbeing, and future care.

And while it would seem obvious for nursing homes to take special precautions to keep residents and patients from falling, a new study from the Journal of the American Medical Association suggests nursing homes aren't doing enough to prevent falls and that those falls can lead to a significant amount of traumatic facial injuries.